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Full text of "Lives of the Early Painters: Raphael Sanzio D'Urbino (Concluded)"

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260 



AMERICAN ART JOURNAL. 



LIVES OF THE EARLY PAINTERS. 



B7 MRS. JAMESON. 



RAPHAEL SANZIO D'URBINO. 
Born 1483, died 1690. 



(Concludes.) 

About this time Raphael painted that portrait 
of Julius II., of which a duplicate is in puy Nar 
ttonaV Gallery; No otie who has studied the'bis- 
tbry of this extraordinary old man, and his rela- 
tions with Michael Angelo and Raphael,, can look 
upon it without interest. Another line duplicate 
is in the gallery of Mr. Miles, at Leigh Court, 
near Bristol. The original is in the Pitti Palace 
at Florence. 

Also at this time Raphael painted the portrait 
of. himself, which is preserved in the Gallery, of 
Painters at Florence; it represents him as a very 
handsome young man, with luxuriant hair and 
dark eyes, lull lips, and a pensive yet benign 
countenance. To this period we may also refer a 
number of beautiful Madonnas: Lord Garvagh's, 
called the Aldobrandini Madonna; the Virgin of 
the Bi'idgewater Gallery;! the Viergo au Diadeine 
In the Louyre; and the yet more famous Madonna 
drFpHgno, now at Rome in the Yatican. 

While employed lor Pope Julius in executing 
the frescoes already described, Raphael found a 
munificent Mend and patron in Augustino Chigi, 
a rich banker and merchant, who was then living 
at Rome in great splendor. He painted several 
pictures for him : the four Sibyls in the chapel of 
the Chigi family, in the church of Santa Maria 
della Pace— sublime figures, full of grandeur and 
inspiration ; and, on the wall of a chamber in his 
palace, that fresco the Triumph of Galatea, well 
known from the numerous engravings. 

About the year 1510 Raphael began the decora- 
tion of the second chamber of the Vatican. In 
this series of compositions he represented the 
power and glory of the Church, and her miracu- 
lous deliverances from her secular enemies, all 
these being an indirect honor paid to, or rather 
claimed by Julius II., who made it a subject oi 
pride that he had not only expelled all enemies 
from the Papal territories, but also enlarged their- 
boundaries— by no scrupulous means. On the 
ceiling of this room are four beautiful pictures— 
the promises ot God to the four Patriarchs, Noah, 
Abraham, Jacob, and Moses. On the four side 
walls, the Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Tem- 
ple at Jerusalem; the Miracle of Bolsena, by 
which, as it was said, heretics were silenced; At- 
tila, King of the Hons, terrified by the apparition 
of St. Peter and St. Paul;, and St. Peter delivered 
from Prison., Of these the Heliodorus is one of 
the grandest and most poetical of all Raphael's 
creations; the group of the .celestial. ;warrfor, 
trampling on the prostrate Heliodorus, with the 
avenging spirits rushing, floating along, air- 
borne, to scourge the despoiler, is wonderful for 
its supernatural powers; it is a vision of beauty 
" and terror. 

Before this chamber was finished, Julius II. 
died, and Was succeeded by Leo X. in 1513. 

Though the character oi Pope Leo X. was in all 
Respects different from that of Julius, he was not 
less a patrtih Of Raphael than his predecessor had 
been; and certainly the number of learned and 
accomplished men whom he attracted to his court, 
and the enthusiasm for classical learning which 
prevailed among them, strongly Influenced those 



productions' of Raphael which date from. the ac- 
cession of Leo. They became more' and more al- 
lied to the antique, and less and'less imbued with 
that pure religion spirit which we find in his ear- 
lier works. ■''."■. 

Cardinal Bembo, Cardinal Bibiena, Count Cas- 
tigl;onc, the poets Ariosto and Sanamaro, ranked 
at this time among Raphael's intimate friends. 
With his. celebrity his riches increased ; he built 
himself a fine house in that part of Rome called 
the Borgo, between St. Peter's and the Castle of 
St. Angelo; he had numerous scholars from all 
parts of Italy, who, attended on him with a love 
and reverence and duty far beyond the lip-and- 
knee homage which waits on princes; and such 
was the influence of his benign and genial temper, 
that ai; those young men lived in the most entire 
union and .friendship with him and with each 
other, and his school was never disturbed by those 
animosities and jealousies which before and since 
have disgraced the. schools of art of Italy. All 
the other painters of that time were the friends 
rather than the. riyalstofj.the.supreme and gentle 
Raphael, with the single exception of Michael 
Angelo. ■ , . 

About the period at which we are now arrived, 
the beginning of the pontificate of Leo X., Michael 
Angelo. had left Rome Cor Florence, as it has been 
related in. his life. Lionardo da Vinci came to 
Rome by the invitation of- Leo, attended by a train 
of scholars, and lived on good terms with Raphael, 
who treated the venerable old man with becoming 
deference. Fra Bartolomeo also visited Rome 
about 1513, to the great joy of his friend. We find 
Raphael at this time on terms of the tenderest 
friendship with Francia, and in correspondence 
withtAlbert-Bureri'ibr wlWM" He* enterkitied 1 the 
highest admiration. 

Under Leo X. Raphael continued his great 
works* in the Vatican. He began the third hall 
or camera in 1515. The ceiling of this chamber 
had been painted by his master Perugino ior 
Sixtus IV. ; and Raphael, from a feeling of respect 
for his old mas:er, would not remove or paint 
over his work. On the sides ot the room he re- 
presented the principal events in the lives of Pope 
Leo HI. and Pope Leo IV., shadowiug forth un- 
der their names the glory of his patron Leo X. 
Of these pictures the most remarkable is that 
which is called in Italian LTnceudio del Borgo 
(the Fire in the Borgo). The story says that this 
populous part of Rome was on fire in the time of 
Leo IV., and that the conflagration was extin- 
guished by a miracle. In the hurry, confusion, 
and tumult, of the scene; in the men escaping 
halt naked; in the terrified groups assembled in 
the foreground; in the women carrying water- 
we find every variety of attitude and eVuollon, ex- 
pressed with a ; perfect knowledge ot form; and 
some of the figures cxh.bit the influence of Michael 
Angelo's ceiling of the gisljme.Ch^peWikeady de- 
scribed. This fresco, though so fine in point of 
drawing, is the worst colored of the whole series; 
the best in point of color are the Heliodorus, and 
the Miracle of Bolsena. 

The last of the chambers in the Vatican i3 the 
Hall of Constantine, painted with scenes from the 
life of that Emperor. The whole of these frescoes 
having been executed by the scholars ot Raphael, 
from his designs and cartoons, we shall not dwell 
on them here/ only observing that ah excellent 
reduced copy of the flnest of all, the Battle of Con- 
stantino and Maxentius, maybe seen at Hampton 
Court.- ■; 

While Raphael, assisted by:his scholars, was 



designing and executing the large frescoes in the' 
Vatican, he was also engaged iu many other 
works. His fertile mind. and ready hand were 
never idle, and the number of original creations 
of this wonueriul man, and the rapidity with 
which they succeeded each other, are quite unex- 
ampled. Amonghis most celebrated and popular, 
compositions is the series of subjects from the Old 
Testament, called '.'." Raphael's Bible;" these wore 
comparatively small pictures, adorning the tblr- 
•teen. cupolas of. the "Loggie" of, the Vatican. ' 
These ' ' Loggie." are open .galleries, irnnntngi' 
round three sides, pf an open court; and the gal- 
lery oh the second story is the one painted under 
Raphael's direction. Up the sides and round the 
windows are arabesque ornaments, festoons of 
fruit, flowers, animals, all combined and grouped 
together with the most exquisite, and playful fan- 
cy. They have been much injured by time, yet 
more by the barbarous treatment of the French 
Soldiery when Rome was sacked in 1527, and 
worst of all by unskilful attempts at restoration. 
The pictures in the cupolas, being out of reach,- 
are.better preserved. Sacred subjects were never 
represented in so beautiful, so poetical, and so in- 
telligible a manner, as by Raphael; but, as the; 
copies and engravings of these works are innu- 
merable, and easily met with, we shall not enter, 
into a particular' description of them; very good 
copies of several may be seen at the National- 
School of Design at Somerset House. 

There was still another great work for the Vat- 
ican intrusted to Raphael. The interior of the 
Sistino, Chapel had been ornamented round the 
lower walls with paintings in imitation of tapes- . 
tries. Leo X. resolved to substitute real drape-' 
riesoi-the .most costly material j-and-Rapbael was. 1 
to furnish the subjects and drawings, which were - 
to be copied in the looms ot Flanders, and worked 
in a mixture of wood, silk, and gold. Thus 
originated the lainous Cartoons of Raphael. 

They were originally eleven in number, to fit 
the ten compartments into which the wall was di- 
vided by as mariy plasters, and the space over the 
altar. Eight were large, one larger than the rest, and 
two small. '; Of the eleven cartoons designed by 
Raphael, four are lost, and seven remain, which 
are now in the Royal Gallery at Hampton Court. 
As they rank among the greatest productions of 
art, and have been for some time freely thrown 
open to the public, we shall give a detailed ac- 
count of them here from various sources, and add 
some remarks which may enable the uninitiated 
to form a judgment of their characteristic merits, 
as well as to appreciate duly the privilege which 
in a wise, as well as a right royal and°gracious 
spirit, has lately been conceded to the people. 

The intention in the whole series of subjects 
was to express the mission, the sufferings, and 
the triumph, of the Christian church. The Death 
. of the. First Martyr, and Jhe Acta, .of ,the A\?p ; gr;eat , 
Apostles, St. Peter and St, Paul, were ranged " 
along the sides to/the right and left, of ..the- high 
altar; while oyer the altar was. the Coronationof 
the Virgin, a subject which, as we have already 
seen, was always symbolical of the triumph of re- 
ligion. In the Original arrangement the tapestries 
hung in the following order: 
' On. the left of the altar— 1.. The Miraculous 
Draught of Fishes, (that is, the Calling ot, Peter) ; 
2. The Charge to Peter; 3. TheStohing of Stephen j 
4. The Healing Of the La.meManj & TheDoath 
btAnahias. ' ',,' 

On the right of the attar-*-!. The Conversion of 
St. Paul; 2. Eljmas .. atfuisk Bllu^^3. Pa.ul and 



AMERICAN ART JOURNAL; 



261 



Barnabas atLystxa; 4. Paul preaching at Athens; 
6. Paul in Prison. All along underneath run a 
rich border in chiaro'scuro, of. a bronze color* re- 
lieved with gold, representing on a smaller scale 
incidents in the life of Leo X., with ornamental 
arabesques, groups of sporting genii, fruits, flow- 
ers, &c. ; : and the plasters between the tapestries 
were also adorned with rich arabesques., Old en» 
gravings exist of someof these designs, which are 
among the most beautiful things in Italian art; 
as lull ot grandeur and grace as they are exquis- 
itely fanciful and; luxuriant. '■ : • ;i 'V 

The large cartoons of this series which are lost 
are, the Stoning of Stephen; the Conversion of 
St. Paul; Paul in his Dungeon ' at Philippi; and 
the Crowning ot the Virgin. 

The seven which remain to us are arranged at 
Hampton Court without anyregard eitberto their 
original arrangement or to chronological order. 
Beginning at the door by which we enter, they 
succeed each other thus: 

1. The Death of Ananias. 

" Thou host not lied unto men, but unto God."— Acts 5. 

Nine of the Apostles stand together on a raised 
platform; St Peter in, the midst, with uplilted 
hands; is in the act ot speaking; on the right 
Ananias lies prostrate on the earth, wbileayoung 
man and woman, on the lelt, are starting back, 
with ghastly horror and wonder in every ieature; 
io the background, to the left, is seen Sapphira, 
who, unaware of the'catastrophe of her husband, 
and the terrible fate impending over her, is paying 
some money with one'hand; while' she withholds 
some in the other; St.' John and another Apostle 
are on the left, distributing alms. The figures 
are^ltwge^er'^wsh^-fo'ur Of number. "•' Size*' 
seventeen feet, six inches, by eleven feet, tour 
inches. 

,.Asa composition, considered artistically, this 
Cartoon holds the first place; nothing has ever 
exceeded it; only Raphael himself, in some oi his 
other works, has equalled it in the wondrous 
adaptation of the means employed to the end in 
, view. By the circular arrangement of the compo- 
sition, and by elevating the figures behind above 
(hose in front, the -whole of the personages on the 
scene are brought at once to sight. The elevated 
position ot Peter and James, though standing 
back from the foreground, and their dignifled.Sg- 
ures, contrast strongly with the abject form 1 of 
Ananias, struck down by the hand of God, help- 
less, and, as it seems, quivering in every limb. 
Those of tho spectators who are near Ananias ex- 
press their horror arid astonishment by the most 
various and appropriate expression. 

"He falls," says Hazlitt, ',■ so haturaily, that it 
seems as if a person could fall no other way; and 
yet, of -all the ways in which a human figure could 
fell, it Is probably the most expressive of a person 
overwhelmed by, *andin the grasp i of divine ven- 
geance. This is in some measure the secret of 
Raphael's •success. Most painters, in studying on 
attitude, puzzle themselves to find but what will 
be picturesque, and what will be fine and never 
discover it Raphael onl£ thought how a person 
would stand or fell under such' or such circum- 
stances, and the picturesque arid the. fine followed 
as a matter orcbhrse. Hence the unaffected force 
and dignity jot' his style, which are:'only anotbe ", 
name for truth and nature under impressive and 
momentous'circumstatices." : '"" • 

We have here an instance of that truly Shak- 
spearian art by which Raphael always softens arid 
heightens the effect of tragic terrbrJ St. Jonn.'at 



the very instant when this awful judgment has 
lallen On the hypocrite and unbeliever, has be- 
nignly turned to bestow alms and a blessing on 
the poor good inan before him. 

2. Blymas the Sorcerer struck with Blind- 
ness. ■'•-'■." 

, "And now, behold, tho band of the Lord is upon thee, 
and thou Shalt be blind, : not seeing the sun for a season. 
And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; 
and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand." 
AcTSlSsll. . . .„ ,.,,- .,.,: r -. [ . i , -,i 

: The Proconsul Sergius; seated on his throne; 
beholds with astonishment Blymas struck Mind 
by the word ot the Apostle Paul, who stands on 
the left; an, attendant is gazing with wonder in 
his face, while eight persons behind him are all 
occupied with the miraculous event which is pass- 
ing before their eyes; two lictors are on the left; 
in all fourteen figures. Size, fourteen feet, seven 
inches, by eleven feet, four inches. ' . 

This cartoon, as a composition, is particularly 
remarkable lor the concentration of the effect and 
interest in the one action. The figure' of St. Paul 
is magnificent; while the crouching, abject form 
of Blymas, groping his way, and blind even to 
his finger*ends, stands in the midst, and on him 
all eyes are bent. The manner in which the im- 
pression is graduated from terror ^down to indif- 
ferent curiosity,, wh£e one person explains the 
event to another by means of gesture, are among 
the most spirited dramatic effects Raphael ever 
produced. 

3. The Healing op the Lame Man at the 
Beautiful Gate op the Temple. 

, "Then Peter said, silyer and gold! have I.none,. but ,suoh 
as I have k give unto thee. And he toot him by the right 
hand and lifted him up."— Acts 3: 6, 7. 

Under the portico of the Temple of Jerusalem 
stand the two Apostles Peter and John ; the former 
is holding by the hand a miserable, deformed crip- 
ple, who gazes up in his face with joyful, eager 
wonder; another cripple is seen on the lelt. 
Among the people are seen conspicuous a woman 
with an infant in her arms, and another leading 
two naked boys, one of whom is carrying two 
doves as an offering. The wreathed and richly- 
adorhed columns are imitated from those which 
have been preserved for ages in the church of St. 
Peter, as relics of the Temple of Jerusalem. 
With regard to the composition, Raphael has 
been criticised for breaking it up into parts by 
the introduction oi the pillars; yet, if properly 
considered, this very management is a proof of 
the exquisite taste of the painter, and his atten- 
tion to the object he had in view. Adhering to 
the sense of the passage in Scripture, he could 
not make all the figures refer to one principle ac- 
tion, the healing of the cripple; he has, therefore, 
framed It in a manner between the two columns; 
aridbythe groups introduced into I the other two 
divisions he has intimated that the people were 
entering the temple " at the hour of prayer, ; being 
the ninth hour." It is evident, moreover, that 
had the shafts been perfectly straight, according 
to the severest law of good taste in architecture, 
the effect would have beeh extremely disagreeable 
to the eye; by their winding form they harmonize 
with the manifold forms of the moving figures 
around, and they illustrate, by their elaborate ele- 
gance, the Scripture phrase, " the gate which is 
called Beautiful. " The' misery, the distortion, the 
ugliness of the cripple; are made' as' striking as 
possible, and contrasted with the noble head ^ri3 
form of St. "Peter, and the benign 'features of St. 



John. The figure of the young woman with her 
child is a model of feminine sweetness and grace; 
it is eminently, perfectly Raphaelesque, stamped 
with his peculiar sentiment and refinement. The 
bright open sky seen between the interstices of 
the columns harmonizes with the lightness, cheer- 
fulness, and happy expression of these figures. 
In the compartment where the miracle is taking 
place, there is the same correspondence of effect 
with sentiment; the, subdued tight of the lamps 
burning ih.th.e.^epth ot r the recessaccords .well 
with. the. reverential feeling excited by the sacred 
transaction. Many parts of this cartoon have un- 
fortunately been injured, and much of the thar- 
mony destroyed, yet it remains one of the most 
wonderful .relics of art now extant. 

4. The Miraculous Draught op Pishes. 

••■When Simon Peter saw it, ho fell down at Jesus' 
knees, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O 

Lord."— Lole 5: S. 

On the left Christ is seated in a bark, in theact 
of speaking to St. Peter, who has fallen on his 
knees before him; behind him is a youth, and. a., 
second bark is on the right. Two men are busied 
drawing up the nets miraculously laden, while. a . 
third steers. On the s'lore, in the foreground, 
stand three cranes.; and in lie distance are seen 
the people to whom Christ bad been preaching 
out of the ship or boat. In this cartoon the com- 
position is very beautiful; and the execution,, 
from, its mingled delicacy, power, and precision, 
is supposed to be almost entirely fr&m Raphael's 
own hand. The effect is wonderfully bright In 
the broad, clear daylight, and against the sky, 
the figures stand out in strong relief. ' The clear 
lake ripples round the bark, and the figure of the 
Saviour, in the pale blue vest and white mantle, 
appears all light, and radiant with beniflcence. 
The awe, humility, and love, in the attitude and ' 
countenance of St. Peter, are wonderfully expres- 
sive. The masterly drawing in the figures oi' the 
apostles in the second boat conveys most strongly 
the impression of the weight they are attempting 
to raise. In the fish and the cranes, all painted 
with exquisite and minute fidelity to nature, we 
trace the hand of Giovanni da Udiue. These 
strange, black birds have h<=re a grand effect, 
"There is a certain sea-wildness about them, and 
as their tood was fish, they contribute mightily to 
express the atlair in hand"; they are a fine part oil 
the scene. They serve also to prevent the heavi- 
ness which that part would otherwise have had, 
by breaking the parallel lines which would have 
been made by the boats and base of the picture." 

5. Paul and. Barnabas at Ltstra. 

"Then the priest of Jupiter which was before their city 
brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would 
have done sacrifice with the people; which, when th« 
apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of, they rent their 
clothes."— Aois 14: 13, U. 

On the left Paul and Barnabas are standing be- 
neath a portico, and appear to recoil from the in- 
tention of the townsmen to ofier sacrifice to them; 
the first is rending his garment and iebuking a 
man who is bringing a ram to be offered. On the 
right, hear the centre, is seen a group of the peo- 
ple bringing forward two oxen; a moth is raising 
an axe to strike one of them down; his arm is 
.held back, by a youth, who, having observed, the 
abhorrent gesture ot Paul, judges that the sacri- 
fice will be offensive to him. In the foreground 
appeal's the cripple, no longer so, who is clasping 
his. hands with, an expression of gratitude; his 
cratches lie useless at his feet An old man,' 



262 



AMERICAN ART JOURNAL. 



raising part of his dress, gazes with a look of as- 
tonishment on the restored limbs. In the back- 
ground, the forum of Lystra, with several temples. 
.Towards the centre is seen a statue of Mercury, In 
allusion to the words in the text: "And they 
called Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief 
speaker." 

As a composition this cartoon is an instance of 
the consummate skill with which Raphael has 
contrived to bring together a variety of circum- 
stances so combined as to make the story per- 
fectly intelligible as a passing scene, linking it at 
the same time with the past and the succeeding 
time. We have the foregone moment in the ap- 
pearance, of the healed cripple, and the wonder he 
excites; in the furious looks directed against the 
apostles by some of the spectators we see tore- 
shadowed the persecution which immediately fol- 
lowed this act of mistaken adoration. Every 
part of the groupings, the figures, the head, both 
in drawing and expression, are wonderful, and 
have an infusion of the antique and classical 
spirit most proper to the subject. The. sacrificial 
groupof the ox, with the figure holding its head, 
and the man lifting the axe, was taken from a 
Soman bas-relief which in Raphael's time was in 
the.yilla Medici, and the idea varied and adapted 
to his purpose with infinite skill. The boys piping 
a,tthe altar.are fuli of beauty, and most gracefully 
contrasted in character. The whole is lull of 
movement and interest. 

. 6. St. Paul PEEACHnra at Athens. 

. " Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' Mil, and said, 
Ye men of Athens, I peroeive that in all things yo are too 
superstitious. I"or as I passed by and behold your devo- 
tions, I found an altar with this inscription, To the un- 
known God."— Acts VI: 22, 23, 

' Paul, standing on some elevated steps, is 
preacning to the Athenians in the Areopagus; be- 
hind him are three philosophers of the different 
sects, the Cynic, the Epicurean, and the Platonic; 
beyond, a group ol sophists disputingamongeach 
other. On the right are seen the half figures of 
Dionysius the Areopagiteandthe woman Damaris, 
of whom it is expressly said that they " believed 
and clave unto him." On the same side, in the 
background, is seen the statue of Mars, in front 
of a circular temple. In point of pictorial com- 
position, this cartoon is one of the finest in the 
series. St. Paul, elevated above his auditors, 
grandly dignified in bearing, as one divjnely in- 
Spired, lolty in stature and position, " stands like 
a tower." This figure of St. Paul has been imi- 
tated from the fresco of Masaccio in the Carmine 
at Florence. There Paul is represented as visit- 
ing St. Peter in prison. One arm only is raised, 
the forefinger pointing upward; he is speaking 
words of consolation to him through the grated 
bars ot his dungeon, behind which appears the 
form ot St Peter. Raphael has taken the idea of 
the figure, raised the two arms, and given the 
•whole an air of inspired energy wanting in the 
Original. The persons who surround him are not 
to be considered a mere promiscuous assemblage 
of individuals; among them several figures may 
each be said to personify a class, and the different 
sects of Grecian philosophy may be easily distin- 
guished. Here the Cynic, revolving deeply, and 
fabricating objections; there the Stoic, leaning 
on his staff, giving a steady but scornful atten- 
tion, and fixed in obstinate credulity; there the 
fflsciples of Plato, not conceding a full belief, but 
pleased at least with the beauty, of the doctrine, 
and listening witii gratified attention. Further 
on 1b a promiscuous group of disputants, sophists, 



and freethinkers, engaged in vehement discussion, 
but apparently more bent on exhibiting their own 
ingenuity than anxious to elicit truth or acknowl- 
edge conviction. At a considerable distance in 
the background are seen two doctors of (he Jew- 
ish law. The varied groops, the fine thinking 
heads among the auditors, the expression of curi- 
osity, reflection, doubt, conviction, faith, as re- 
vealed in the different countenances andattitudes, 
are all as fine as possible; particularly the man 
who: has wrapped his robe around him, and ap- 
pears buried in thought. .,. "This figure also is 
boraowed from Masaccio. The closed eyes, 
■which in Masaccio might be easily mistaken tor 
sleeping, are not in the least ambiguous in the 
cartoon; his eyes, indeed, are closed, but they 
are closed with such vehemence that the agita- 
tion of a mind perplexed m the extreme is seen at 
the first glance. But what is most extraordinary, 
and I think particularly to be admired, is that the 
same idea is continued- through the whole figure, 
even to the drapery^which, is so,., closely muffled 
about him, that even his hands are not seen. By 
this happy correspondence between the expres- 
sion of the countenance and the disposition of the 
parts, the figure .appears to think from head to 
foot;":/ 'V 

To be Continued. 

-•'■- — — — v > 't m " > < — 



TRANSLATED FOR THE PRESS. 

*_ 

BY 1. R. 



After r six months of anxious expectation, we 
have, at last ; been. admitted-, to view the famous 
aquarium of the Boulevard Montmartre, where, 
for the small sum of two francs, we had the pleas- 
ure of gazing at forty gudgeons, in a glass globe, 
performing swimming feats in the most approved 
style. Nor is this all, for besides these forty 
gudgeons, that we had to pay a cent apiece for 
admiring, we saw a real live carp, two soles 
not fried, which we blamed exceedingly for ex- 
posing themselves to public view, without their 
accompanying condiments, three eels and a num- 
ber of skates, without parsley or butter, and sev- 
eral lobsters, whose only fault was, not to be 
quite done enough. 

Everything else there, was splendid, for in- 
stance, we noticed, in another globe, a small sea 
monster (called la pieuvre, *) hiding in the crevi- 
ces of an artificial rock. 

While we were at the aquarium, this wonder- 
ful being was not to be seen, it seems that some 
familiar friends is needed to give strangers an in- 
troduction. 

Among the visitors some persons who had 
been to see the mechanical head at the "Music 
Francais," seemed to doubt the existence of this 
animal and affirmed that it was made ot india 
rubber, and that its legs moved through the 
agency of a galvanic battery. This is not sO. 
It is true nevertheless, that if a mechani- 
cal head can be -made so as to. speak, 
oil sorts of animals might be, gotten up in 
the same way. It is said that there ex- 
ists in some out of the way place in Germany, a 
wooden horse, which is soon to make its appear- 
ance in Paris. This mechanical courser can out- 
run the Gladiator himself, it rears, it kicks, and 
jumps, and down goes its rider in spite of him- 
self. 

Manufacturers of automatons are wrapped in 
mystery, they call to mind the supernatural crea- 
tions of Hoflman; we can imagine the artist liv- 
ing in an old house in Muremberg, hiding his 
Works with jealous Care from the eyes of the vul- 
gar, and planning, after having completed his 



^•AUusiontothe nondescript animal mentioned in V. 
Hugo's <• TraTaiUeurs de lamer."^ "»">«oa»o in v. 



first marvel, another one greater still; after the" 
prancing steed, the speaking head, and after* 
these, a man who will be sent to parties, and be' 
able to dance the •' Cancan "at the Cassino " Ca- 
det " for three trancs a night. 

Why should it not be?: Once the ball setir* 
motion, wby should we stop? An epoch which 
brings forth a living human head wfthout a body,- 
may produce anything, and we will soon get up 
young men to people pur deserted parlors. For 
ton francs per night we maybe abfc to hire au> 
tomatic waltzers, who for an extra sum of twa 
francs will play k whist with, ladies .of, ascertain of 
uncertain age, rather, and lor twenty francs, we 
will have a nice young man to lead a cotillion 
set." 

We are convinced that a day will come whon 
the caterer who furnishes flowers, lights, etc, for* 
parties, will also be called upon to furnish au- 
tomatic guests; and thism our opinion, is the 
only way to restore, to our aristocratic circles, 
the gayetj that once distinguished tbem, for 
since our youth and nobility have taken to bad 
company and prefer gambling to conversation, it 
has become next to impossible to procure real 
living waltzers; and if some steps are not taken 
to help to rebuild our society in the- Faubourg St, 
Germain The chroniclers of Parisian High"Life 
will soon find their occupation gone. 

We are positive that ff an enterprising trades- 
man were to undertake to let out mechanical 
guest, he would realize a fortune rapidly, and 1 
would moreover, be entitled to the blessings of 
innumerable party-givers. 

Should this happen, all that would be neces- 
sary, when about to give a party, would be to* 
call upon an upholsterer, and dialogues of this 
sort would take place. 

Tradesman,— Did you send for me, madam ? 

Lady,— (about to give a reception) Yes, sir,- 
I wish to give a party to-morrow, and I want' 
you to supply me with afl that is necessary. 

Tr,— Well, Madam, will tou please tell me how 
many automatons you will want ? 

L. — About a dozen, 

Tr. — Do you think that will be enough ? 

L,— Yes, with my friends included? I think I 
can about fill my parlor, 

Tr,— Well, ma'am you can make your own se- 
lection, 

L. — Have you any new figure*? 

Tr. — Oh yes, we have some belonging to alf 
classes of society, and we charge accordingly. 
For Frenchmen five francs per evening, for for- 
eigners, a little more, and I have, amoug the rest 
an American General Who was very much ad- 
mired at Mme. de F's last ball, 

L.— I should like him, by all means, 

Tr.— I am really very sorry, but he is engaged 
for a whole month. I can let you have, however, 
a Prussian General. 

L.— How much do you want an hour for him J" 

Tr. That depends on his uniform. Undress, 
ten francs; full dress, fllteen francs; and if you 
want him complete, with all his decorations, I 
can't afford to let you have him for less than 
twenty-five francs per evening, 

L.— Can he speak French ? 

Tr.— Oh I certainly, ma'am, and can relate the 
battle of Sadowa in. all its ..details,: .. » , • 

L.— Well, I'll take your Prussian General. 

Tr.— -Anything else ma'am, wouldn't you like a 
few ambassadors, I have a remarkably fine 
Cochin Chinese, made of india rubber, and who 

at the last soiree of Countess Z was the 

observed of all observers? . - 

L.— Yes I think I heard of him. 
' Tr;— Well I supplied her with him and I shall 
keep him for you. Now, let me see? I shall 
send you, then, the Genera), the Cochin Chinese 
and a dozen waltzers. I mast state to you, 
howeyer, that I hold you responsible for any 
damages, for at the last ball given by Baroness 
P ■ ■■ my best light-haired dandy danced so 
much that the main-spring was broken. Don't 
you want two or three singers J 

L.— No, I think ndt